Monday, June 20, 2011

Mermaid Parade Photos

Every year Coney Island holds the Annual Mermaid Day Parade and these are my pictures (and some I snagged from the web- credited OF COURSE). Enjoy!  Feel free to scan through Flickr as well as google to see even more CRAZY photos from this magical adventure.

Here I am before leaving the house in my mermaid gear (with my swimsuit top so as not to spoil the surprise... and riding the Q train topless does not sound appealing)

My friend Molly allowing me to photograph her in the subway- I think a mermaid in the subway is hilarious.

Dottie Dynamo and Lucille Ti Amore who also marched with us

A group of French Mermaids that marched ahead of us


NYC has awsome law about women being topless... oh yeah!

Here are Molly and I during our march on the Parade Route which stretches from 21st Street to the Cyclone all the way down Surf Ave in Coney Island and down the main stretch of the boardwalk (treacherous in heels!)

These are just some more shots from the Route! I have never seen this many sea creatures outside of an aquarium.  Please, please, please google the crap out of this! 

I took this pic bc I like the tail fabric

I know you are all wondering if Mermaid's need sunscreen- this one is wearing SPF 30 so that her nipples don't fry
A short sidenote here... because of my costume I received a disgusted look from a woman covering her children's eye... so I jiggled them at her- and for the duration of the parade that was my response to any haters... which immediately made them all laugh (with the exception of the first woman) and cheer.  Bahahahaha! This is clearly an adult parade...

These are shots of Surf Ave from the Q train, which is elevated at Coney Island.  These pictures are post Mermaid Parade shots of Deno's Wonder Wheel, a landmark ride on Coney Island dating back to 1920. Deno's Wonder Wheel has only ever stopped once- during the July 13,1977 blackouts- where riders were brought down from the top by the owner, who had to hand-cranked them down. Full size replicas appear at Disney's California Adventure (why, is BEYOND me) and there is also one in Yokahama, Japan. 

These shots are the final farewell to Coney Island.  The Cyclone opened at Coney Island on June 26, 1927 and cost $0.25 to ride (now it's $10.00 with a $5.00 reride booster ticket- 2 years ago when I rode it last) it was declared a New York City Landmark in 1988 and a National Landmark in 1991.  It tops out at 60mph and is the most replicated compact wooden coaster in the world.

So, I hope all of you enjoy this fun post that has a little to do with burlesque... I am a Burlesque dancer and I was in it.. ergo it has to do with burlesque. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Booked again! It's always rewarding to be booked- again- by a producer. Being booked again means that:
1. You don't completely suck.
2. They like working with you.

I always feel so blessed to have befriended the producers that I have. They are all so creative and really embrace what burlesque is about. In the last few weeks I have learned a lot about getting booked and staying booked and one of the number one things I have learned from numerous producers is that it all boils down to whether or not they like working with you and whether or not other producers that they know like working with you. Hard work and talent pay off but not as much as being a joy to do a show with. There is a great section in Jo Weldon's The Burlesque Handbook about burlesque etiquette... if you are new and haven't read it... you SHOULD! Buy it here!

She goes over basic etiquette and dealing with different issues that may arise in the world of burlesque. She also does this in a shortened format at her blog Daily Burlesque Blog by Jo Weldon.  For an example, the other day I was at a fabric shop on Broadway and mentioned that I was a dancer, the owner asked me if I knew James Habecker and Jo Boobs- I said I did know them... but they probably didn't know me (working with that many dancers over so many years- they have no idea who I am!). You see, it isn't who you know- it's who knows you! This is important! Because how somebody acknowledges knowing you speaks volumes about you. If they roll their eyes and snort when asked about you- don't expect to get booked by the producer that spoke to them, but if they smile and say, "yes, I know her, she kittened a show I was in a few months ago, she's delightful"- then you are golden!

Striving for excellence is important, but your routine is really not as important as who you are and how you are to work with, your routines can be workshopped, cleaned up, and tweaked but no one wants to try to workshopping your personality flaws. Professionalism and authenticity will get you a hell of a lot further than scheming, exhibiting diva-like behavior, and acting entitled to a spot in the limelight because you showed up. All the actively working burlesque performers/producers/kittens/go-go dancers worked very hard to get where they are and want to be treated professionally and with the respect that they have earned. If you can master that, you too will be treated with respect and professionalism... and best of all... you'll get BOOKED!

Speaking of being booked, my calendar is starting to pick up! Woot Woot!  I have Luvely Rae's One Night Stand next week, The New York School of Burlesque Showcase this weekend, I'm marching in Coney Island's Mermaid Parade, Gogo/Kitten at Parkside Lounge's Drive Thru Burlesque next month, and Appearing again at Kitty Nights in August! Whew!  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Ok, so some of the newer performers I keep running into mention how stressful false eyelashes can be and seem to shy away from the giant eyelash variety. So I've adapted this posting from my other blog The Everyday Pinup Girl to assist and inform those who are seeking a little more guidance. I LOVE comments and thoughts from other performers. Before reading this you should be made aware that they are addictive and once you go big you can't go back!
Me in F*Bomb Burlesque's Aerosmith Show I did "Dream On"
From The Everyday Pinup Girl
I use strip lashes as they work the best for me. I've used many brands and I'm here to tell you that the two that stick out are Makeup Forever and Mattese

Makeup Forever has AMAZING eyelash glue hold-wise BUT the application can be messy and it stains clothes (I dripped some on a black costume skirt and now it looks like it came out of Monica Lewinsky's closet.)

I have two sets by Makeup Forever. #25115 are pink at the lid line and about half-way down the lash they become black with little decorative tips.

#25116- are a dark heavy black feathered lash- great for when you need to look dangerous.

I find that Makeup Forever's eyelashes are very high quality- great for multiple uses (I reuse them for MONTHS) easy to apply but not as easy to trim, especially the feather ones as cutting the inner tip dramatically changes the effect of the lashes. I would recommend just starting on the inner corner of the eye and extending beyond the lash line if need be- don't trim them at all if you can avoid it. Their eyelashes cost between $10.00 and $22.00 a set.

On to Mattese Eyelashes.

These are my favorite. They are inexpensive (between $7.00- $14.00 a set)
however not all of them come with eye lash glue. I have so many pairs of these I don't know where to begin but I will share two of my favorite lashes they make.

This set is very Marylin Monroe and I wear these for regular appearances in and around the city. They are clearly false lashes and I really love them. They provide a heavy lidded look and give that smoldering temptress her bedroom eyes.

These lashes are super fun- though can be a little uncomfortable if they are put on wrong- they are stiffer than some of the other models. I am wearing these in my pinup set on my facebook page.

I find that Mattese's lashes are a little more cost effective and last just as long (they even have VERY similar styles to Makeup Forever) for me they are easier to get as there is a Ricky's on every other corner here in New York City but you can always order them online from Ricky's (which if you don't know about Ricky's, it's a Mecca for drag queens, strippers, burlesque dancers, and rockabillys.) They carry both natural and crazy lashes... though I say, go big or go home- everyone knows that your eyelashes are not that long or full or well curled so you may as well live it up.

As far a glue goes- buy a tube of both clear and black from DUO (it's the best glue I've used.) I rarely use the black but it can be great if you are doing a jet black eye or very dark makeup near the lash line however, I suggest using the clear until you are a lash master.

How to put on false lashes:
Before you begin put your eye makeup on. It's easier to adjust eye makeup once the lashes are on rather than attempting to create a look from scratch- that's my opinion everyone is different, only experimentation will help you. In fact, many sources say specifically to wait to apply your makeup until afterword- when I tried this I had trouble navigating around my extremely long lashes with my complicated makeup plan- so like I said it's really up to you what works best, this is a very personal choice.

When you pull the strip off the plastic mold remember to pull from one end (not the middle, you don't want to accidentally put a kink or break in your lashes) and smoothly peel them off their holder. Even though it is sticky you must still use glue, even if they say they are self adhesive, you must still use glue- the tacky stuff they use to stick it to the plastic WILL NOT hold it to your eye.

Put a very thin strip of glue on the part of the eyelash you are placing above (for the top and below if you are using bottom lashes as well) your lash line. Allow it to get tacky BEFORE putting it on your eye. You have to let eyelash glue cure before attaching it to your eye.

Once the glue is ready (anywhere from 30-60 seconds or so for me) start on the inner part of your lash line where you want the lashes and gently press them on (I use the handle of a makeup brush to hold it place) and follow the lash line all the way across the eye to the outer corner. Starting from the inside of the eye and moving outward gives you more control on where the lashes are situated and allows you to decide if you need to trim them and which end you should trim from. Hold it in place a minute and then if they are satisfactory do it on the other eye. Voila! Beautiful false lashes!

Don't be afraid to wear big lashes, or colorful lashes. They are fun and easy to wear and once you know the tricks can really bring an outfit to life- a femme fatale, an innocent anjenu, a doe-eyed sock hopper, or that smoldering temptress we talked about earlier.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Girlie Gushings about my new shoes

These are the Flamingo Peep-Toe Glitter Pump by Ellie. I of course will be adding to them, though they are fabulous as-is, they need some personal touches. I'm using these for one of my re-vamped acts that I will be doing at Kitty Nights on May 8th (Mother's Day!) All I can say is that if I get my wish and my act together just right, it will involve sparkles, "fur", and a little striptacular surprise... IF I can get everything I need in time...

Otherwise, the purpose of this blog was just to gush about how in love with these shoes I am and how they will be performing at Kitty Nights as well as myself. For those of you in the New York City area that haven't been to Kitty Nights, you should come because it's a really good time. Great acts with killer hosts all for only $5.00 every Sunday in the East Village. I hope to see everyone who can make it at Bar on A, May 8th at 9:00 pm SHARP! (Fem Appeal doesn't cater to late comers!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

The break is over!

So between November and April I took a blog break- but now I am back. I also prepped this blog last month... and never posted it so I'm posting it now.

The purpose of this blog was to show the growth from wanting to participate in burlesque to actually becoming a sought out performer, sharing my experiences along the way. So, most recently I did a show at Nurse Bettie, courtesy of Miss Honi Harlow. Two things I learned:
1. Know your venue.
2. There is such a thing as too much glitter. (I know... I didn't think it was possible either.)

What I mean by
know your venue
is, GO SEE A SHOW THERE BEFORE YOU PERFORM (if at all possible) and remain very flexible. Not all venues are created equal and they all have different rules that as a performer you should respect.

Some venues allow great sightlines as they have raised stages and cabaret style seating, others are a low small platform with standing room only, some are in the middle of the floor of a bar, it all depends. It's important to use a routine that works in the space and to know how to adjust it so that the audience gets the best views possible. After all... that who you're doing it for. They are paying to see you, so try your hardest to be seen.

Nurse Bettie, 106 Norfolk Street here in New York City, has a low platform and small working space with a small bar PACKED with standing people- so chair work and floor work aren't always the best idea though if you know what you're doing you can pull it off (as I have seen Peekaboo Pointe and Deity Delgado do). As these ladies previously mentioned are expert dancers with bookings out the wazoo they can adjust a routine at any time to fit the situation but, even they don't take every routine to every venue. As a novice performer I've found that it's best to develop at least one routine that takes certain aspects into consideration providing an act that will work no matter where you are.

That means:
1. No food, liquids, fire, props, or extreme nudity (which means it can be performed almost anywhere.)

2. It's specific and easy to remember. (too much choreography freaks me out and I forget it... I need more of a stripping outline.)

3. The costume is a no-brainer. Something simple and easy to take off. This may sound lame but it's way more sexy to watch a person take an article of clothing off with confidence and specificity than to watch someone struggling with their costume and getting stuck and getting lost and looking really frustrated while their music drones on. Remember, costume pieces can be added or subtracted if it improves the act later.

4. Movement that doesn't require great sightlines. i.e. a routine where you can be seen by most of the audience at all times. So in a standing room only you aren't laying down on the stage with your legs up because no one will be able to see all the hard work you've done unless they are one of the 7 people in front of the stage or the one lucky bastard who managed to grab a hold of the lighting fixture and is hanging from the ceiling.

All in all my experience at Nurse Bettie was utterly delightful! The cast was amazing, the producer a delight, the bartenders kind and the audience really excited to be there. The show was fun (though I did smack Darlinda Just Darlinda and Honi Harlow in the face with a glove full of glitter- so I've got to use less) and I can't wait to do it again.

DISCLAIMER: This has been my experience. Many people have successfully done all the things I just nay-sayed and had a spectacular performance, but we aren't talking about them because this is my blog about my experience so far, so we're definitely talking about me. This is by no means an end all be all as every performer is their own unique snowflake.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Hunt for Red November

Before anyone reads this I am going to warn you that it's about lipstick. So, if you don't care about lipstick then move along because that is what this post is exclusively about.

I get more questions about my lipstick from people on the street than anything else- particularly when I have red glitter lips. So I'm doing a blog post about it.

One of the most important accouterments in a Burlesque dancers bag of tricks is a great lipstick! I am partial to red but many dancers use an array of pinks and peaches.

Speaking of red lipstick, I have been in hot pursuit of enriching my red lipstick collection. Originally, I started with a Benefit Red lipstick (which gets EVERYWHERE!). Then I upped the ante with a purchase at MAC of Russian Red. Though I find Russian Red to be a fabulous red I wanted something less drying and a little deeper... Lo and Behold! I found a great one by Makeup Forever... Moulin Rouge. It is the most fabulous red! A little deeper than the Russian Red and a better texture I think.

There is another statement I would like to make- quickly- some of my friends have expressed to me their desire to try a red lipstick, but they don't want to spend a lot of money on a lipstick that they may not like/wear. I have the solution, NYC Color's Retro Red, also an emergency red lipstick that's cheap and found at any Duane Reade, and it's $0.99. Can't beat that! Great texture, very true red (tends a little toward the bright side, but a berry lip-gloss will balance it if you need that), and a great lipstick to use for transfer into a vintage tube for first timers- which I just did and highly recommend. Nothing makes you feel sexier than a beautiful lipstick tube, ha ha ha!

So, now I have six red lipsticks: British Red Coat (which is ugly on my and I don't recommend it), Benefit's Red (they don't even make this anymore, but it got everywhere), NYC Color Ruby (kind of a weird hot pink/red shimmer), NYC Color Retro Red (which I really like!), MAC's Russian Red, and Makeup Forever's Moulin Rouge. But I always have room for one more...

**Please feel free to comment or add your input- I love to hear about other people's makeup collections.

Also a note, if you follow this blog please feel free to friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter @MissDixieRising, and if you are on feel free to contact me there as well. See ya'll around :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Doin' Time

So many people in the performance arena are aware that you have to work your way up from the bottom to enjoy the cream at the top. Burlesque is no different. As a new performer you need to be mindful of other dancers that have been doing this longer than you have. That means being helpful, respectful, and out of the way (i.e. if you aren't performing- don't block the mirror/light/or dancers from changing)... and above all, if you don't know a dancer's name or haven't heard of her, DO NOT point that out to her. Just because you may have no clue who she is doesn't mean the rest of the Burlesque world does not and it may also mean that you don't attend enough shows. If you are working or performing- BE ON TIME. I have learned that this early in the game you have to put a lot of work into networking, listening, watching, and just plain good old fashioned being pleasant. This world is about women supporting each other, which quite frankly, doesn't happen as often as it should.

With that out of the way, let me share an amusing moment from when I was working Honi Harlow's "Harlow's Hide-A-Way", which is currently every Thursday at Fontana's on Eldrdige between Broome and Grand right here in New York City. It's August so audience can be fickle, so I was tickled 12 shades of pink when I walked into Fontana's last Thursday and saw about 60 people in the bar and Chandlelier room. Upon my arrival I also discovered that there were bands performing downstairs. As the people in the bar began to funnel between our show and the bands performing in the basement, I was charged with the task of separating and directing them where they needed to go based on what they were there to see. For about 5 minutes of this, it seemed that everyone was headed to the basement and becoming tired of that (I love music too but stripping women dancing to music vs. bearded sweaty men standing around listening and bobbing their heads... hmmmmm) I decided when a delcious quartet of men walked up to me to try to persuade them to stay upstairs.

So I asked them,

"Are you guys here to see the Burlesque show?," as brightly as I could,
"Or the Bands downstairs?" and I was 50% less bright with that last question.

All four started laughing at me and one cute one (out of the other four devastatingly handsome men) in a plaid shirt looked at me and smiled,

"We are the band."

The hilarity of this was not missed on me so I thought, oh sweet now I can hit on all them! Which I proceeded to do. Some of the banter continued as follows:

Me: "Oh well, you're gonna miss all the gorgeous naked women!"

Band: "How about we play and when we're done we'll come up and see the naked women."

Me: "By the time you're done playing all the naked women will be gone. We are a fleeting thing you know. We don't stay naked forever."

Band: "Are you sure? We love naked women and would love to see them but we have a show."

Me: "Well that's what happens when you put music first. All the naked women dissappear."

The slightly bearded, blue-eyed, dream boat in the plaid shirt threw back his head and laughed. "That's the truth!"

Then the fabulously handsome foursome made their way into the basement and for one brief moment watching sweaty bearded men play instruments was overwhelmingly appealing. Then Honi walked up in her fantastic red dress with a gorgeous rhinestone necklace. The sparkle from it called me back to the land of half naked women and glitter. Whew! That was a close one.